I thought I would share my top tips to help anyone improve their pet photos- regardless of whether you are shooting with an iphone or a DSLR!
1. Get on their level. As a pet photographer, I spend a lot of my time laying on the floor. You can’t always shoot from above and the best photos are often at the pet’s level. So get down lower, or get your pet up!
2. Do what they love doing. Your pet will always look happiest doing what they love, so use that to your advantage! For some dogs, that's going to be posing for treats, for others it'll be adventuring and exploring a new hiking trail!
3. The smaller details. The eyes are the most expressive part of any animal’s face so if you want to create really engaging portraits, focus on the eyes and facial expressions. In saying that, don't be afraid to try something a bit different and capture some of the smaller details of your pet- like their curly coat, their little paw pads, whiskers or tail!
4. Choose the right time. The best time for taking animal shots is the two hour window just after sunrise or just before sunset. Of course photos can be taken anytime, but it can be harder to work with the light to your advantage. When shooting outdoors, you really have to be aware of the direction of the light. Any light coming from the side will not be flattering, and causes one side to be overexposed and the other in shadow. As a general rule, aim to shoot with the sun over and behind your shoulder, with your subject facing towards you.
5. Don't be afraid to sound silly.
Get their attention and all those epic head tilts by making crazy noises! Dogs respond particularly well to high pitched 'squeaky' noises.
6. Bonus tip! Just take a WHOLE HEAP. Don't force your pet to pose for hours on end, really just a few minutes (and always reward!) but taking a lot of pictures and then picking the best is the best way to go to get really stand out images. This is especially true if you are capturing more 'documentary' style images while your dog is just doing its own thing. Dogs move so quickly and expressions can change in a second, so taking multiples will usually give you one great shot.